Some might say that 340 is enough, others may argue that it’s merely a start and, then there are others who may not care… I’ve always been interested in statistics and analytics of any given situation so today as I began thinking about this weeks blog I pondered my writing journey and career so far.
On average my weekly blogs are about 1,000 words give or take a couple of words…some weeks more, other weeks less but if we averaged it out its somewhere in that vicinity. So let’s see we have 340 blog posts, from four blog series:
- Kokoda Preparation (17)
- Disheveled Musings (41)
- Hanoi Posting – The serial (58) – current
- Indelible Adventures (224) – current
Which brings us to a tidy 340,000 words written in my weekly format, and doesn’t include the business and travel articles that I’ve also written and published over the past five years. Most books have between 250 – 300 words per page, which would bring me to 1,360 pages if they were all in one book.
However, what’s most scary is that when you hold up against a monumental piece of work like “War and Peace” just as an example, not that I’m in anyway considering myself a literary giant in the realms of Leo Tolstoy or anything but to give you some perspective in terms of sheer scale of what we’re analyzing here, his masterpiece was 1,225 pages (English version). Although to be fair the original Russian version was 1,440 pages.
Yes, I had one of those holy shit moments!
Now this got me thinking, cos whenever I think of “big books” my mind automatically rushes to War and Peace. However, after a little digging I found that the longest single story was entitled “Men of Goodwill” written by Jules Romain and published between 1932 and 1946 with a whopping 2,070,000 words which to be fair leaves my paltry 340,000 miserably wanting…
I know what you’re thinking, how on earth could you make a book with 8,280 pages? Well, you don’t actually, because as Jules would find out they couldn’t bind his chef-d’oeuvre (great masterpiece) with so many pages, so to make it more manageable the publishers turned it into a 27 books over 14 volumes, which is still a 307 page book if you do the average words per page.
Staggering is right! Although to be fair to Jules it was its life’s work so you have to admire his stick-to-it-iv-ness over 14 solid years to plough through his story of French life from 1908 to 1933.
Again, if you do the math (cos you know I did) its only about 405 words per day, although it is everyday for 14 straight years… Apparently the one downfall of Jules work is that there is no central figure, protagonist or family in this rambling story but rather a huge cast of characters with each volume’s stories delving into a segment of French society during that period – riveting stuff!
Interestingly, Jules was not just a one-book wonder…no, far from it! In fact he was a prolific writer and poet and published many works over his lifetime.
Aren’t analytics great? For starters without me getting under the covers of my short literary (okay, maybe not exactly literary but you know what I mean) 🙂 career you wouldn’t have learned about the longest book ever published, nor the interesting facts behind War and Peace. Ha!
The thing that strikes me most about writing is that I can sit and write for hours and never have a problem coming up with things to write about. I suppose its one of the thing that Jules and I do share is a love of the written word, you might also throw in there the cast of characters and topics I’ve covered.
Seriously the words just flow like water from a tap when I sit down to write – but you already knew that. 🙂
The most difficult thing about writing is capturing your audience’s attention week in and week out, especially given the gazillion other bloggers, storytellers and writers who ply their trade on the Internet…
Certainly there is no shortage of great writers out there covering every topic known to man and to be honest I’m not sure if helps me or hurts my chances of getting repeat readers given the range of topics I’ve covered over the years – life with Zach and Sami, my travel adventures peppered with stories of growing up in Australia.
As I move to my new website in the coming weeks, I’ll also be transitioning to hosting my blogs rather than using this site. The tricky part is to work out what to do with all of my work created to date – I already have a plan to capture it and store it and perhaps even republish some of the most popular stories from over the past five years. It’s important to ensure that I continue to engage my existing readers and engage new ones, especially considering the 250,000 that have read them so far.
Makes you wonder if Leo or Jules ever had to worry about building their “brand” like we do today? I’m sure in their day they had their literary reputations to consider so had a different type of pressure to withstand. What I’ve come to realize is that the underlying human experience hasn’t really changed much over the centuries.
Greater knowledge and enabling technologies have provided us a faster paced world in which we can arguably do anything and everything our hearts desire – including me become a writer…
Yes, I’m sure they’d be turning in their graves if they only knew!
Until next week….
“Hanoi Posting” A series of fictional micro-stories by Terence Wallis
Come visit “Hanoi Posting” at its new home!
Down to the last few days of this years 30 for 30 photo essay from my unpublished archives, I hope you’ve been enjoying these as much as I have curating them for you.
|Stresa – ferry times on Lago Maggiore|
|Bells Beach – one of the most famous surf beaches
in the world and host to last years World Championship on
Australia’s south coast
|Ernest Hemingway’s house in Key West, Florida – cool sculpture|
|Good old Aussie magpie!|
|You never know what you’re going to find by the beach
Point Lonsdale, Australia
|A beautiful rose bouquet at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado|
|The Speak easy’s mirror|
|Inner city laundromat|
|Toronto’s Flatiron building – iconic to say the least|
|Honest Ed’s last days….set to be demolished in Jan/Feb 2017. It’s been such a landmark
in Toronto for more than 70 years. So sad to see it go
|Tis’ the season on the Danforth – in Toronto’s east end